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The New Consumer (November-December 2022)

Online vs. offline shopping: As consumer behaviors and the state of retail continue to evolve, research shows how and where to reach and influence shoppers.

Recent research from Bazaarvoice shows that the line between online and offline shopping continues to blur. Based on a survey of more than 6,000 shoppers around the world and more than 400 retailers, the company shared the following key takeaways:

• Most consumers seek out multiple touchpoints when making a purchase decision.

• Shoppers are influencing other shoppers through user-generated content (UGC) at all stages in the purchase journey, with social media playing an increasingly impor-tant role in discovery, research and conversion.

• Two-thirds of consumers prefer omnichannel shopping. Sixty-six percent of shoppers said they feel happiest with a hybrid of both in-store and online shopping, while 25% said in-store and 8% said online.

• A generational gap in behavior exists. Most consumers ages 25-34 enjoy a hybrid of shopping methods (75%), and just over half (56%) of those ages 65 and older prefer a mix of both in-store and online.

• Almost two-thirds of shoppers use their smartphone in-store to look at price comparisons (69%), product reviews (60%), advice from friends/family (33%) and product demonstrations (30%).

• Shopper voices and verified reviews power commerce. UGC makes up seven of the top 10 types of research shoppers prefer to utilize before buying (e.g., product ratings, written reviews from verified buyers, expert reviews, questions and answers, recommendations from friends/family, shopper photos of the product and visual reviews from verified buyers).

• Online research is universal. Both online (79%) and in-store (59%) shoppers conduct research online prior to purchasing.

• Social media increasingly influences shoppers. One in five consumers shop on social media, including via Facebook Shops (41%), influencers’ Instagram Stories (37%) and sponsored ads on Instagram (36%).

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TikTok’s Growing Influence

Another social platform influencing consumers is short-form video sharing app TikTok, which reportedly registered its billionth user last year and is estimated to grow to 1.8 billion users by the end of 2022.

“TikTok is no longer the channel for teenage dance challenges as people tend to believe,” said Vladimir Bestic, CEO and founder of TikTok ad agency Zaza Digital, in a news release. “It has become the most powerful advertising channel because of its explosive user growth and high levels of consumer spending and engagement.”

Some recent research findings outlined by Zaza Digital indicate that:

• TikTok is not just for connecting to a younger audience. More than 55% of users are 25 or older while 37.90% are 35 and older.

• In the U.S., the number of users has risen to 186 million, or 56% of the population.

• As for consumer spending, 37% of users have a household income of more than $100,000 and 9.6% have less than $25,000.

• Users are highly engaged, spending an average of 45.8 minutes on the app per day.

• Hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt currently has 15.7 billion views on millions of videos where people showcase products they bought on TikTok.

• TikTok Ads can be cheaper than other social platforms, with a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) just above $6 versus $12.57 for Facebook ads.

• According to Statista, TikTok generated $4 billion in advertising revenue in 2021, a figure that is expected to double by 2024 and triple by 2026.

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